Is There Only One Life Purpose?
What is Life Purpose?
Many of us at the first of the year are questioning our life purpose and feeling a need to change the course of direction with our career or ministry. It seems all the buzz today is about people seeking and/or living their life purpose. Just take a look at the popular non-fiction bestselling book – The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren has sold over 25 million copies. Life’s purpose is about knowing what you’re here to do. It is also often called “primary aim,” “main intention,” “highest calling,” etc.
We all have a life purpose. Some people are fortunate to know their life purpose at a very young age, pursue it fervently, and achieve it. Most of us, however, grapple with this, and either have difficulty knowing what it is, or find ourselves constantly changing it throughout our lives, or worse, never knowing it at all. Knowing your life purpose is probably the most important determiner of success, as your path will be much straighter, easier, and quicker. Most coaches would agree that coaching is about helping clients achieve their goals. Finding your best possible goals is the key to attaining them. However, before you can even set goals, you need to know your purpose in attaining them. Therefore, one of the most important skills of a life coach is to assist people in finding their life purpose.
As a part of the human species, we seek purpose and meaning; we laugh, and we are aware of our mortality. This is what distinguishes us from other creatures. Laughter, mortality, and purpose become three important, crucial questions. We search for meaning – a deep significance to life.”
There are many methods coaches use to assist people in finding their life purpose. One of the most common ways is through the strategic use of questions, i.e., what is the most meaningful thing you’ve ever done? Why was that important? What do you think are your true gifts? What do you enjoy most? What are you best at? What activities cause you to be so completely absorbed that you tune out the rest of the world?
When you know your life purpose your life automatically flows much easier. You will be living life with more passion and enthusiasm. You will smile more, laugh more, and have more fun. You will move forward with an unstoppable drive.
Here are some examples of life’s purpose:
Walt Disney’s purpose: “To make children happy.”
Andrew Carnegie’s purpose: “To manufacture, market, and sell steel.”
Oprah Winfrey’s mission: “To continually seek to be better, to challenge me and pursue excellence on every level.”
Mother Teresa’s purpose: “To care for and comfort the poor, sick, and needy all over the world.”
How Do I Find My Life Purpose?
What is your life purpose? No one can answer this question but you. You must find it deep within yourself. And do you have more than one life purpose? The answer is “yes!” As you will read below, a person may have one main life purpose and/or many sub-purposes.
How do you find your life purpose? There are a variety of ways. A method used by Life Purpose Coach, Tim Kelley, is a more indirect method, through the use of trusted sources. With this method, a coach can use a variety of techniques to help you set up communication with a trusted source. Trusted sources can be whomever or whatever you choose. Some of the trusted sources others use are friends, family, God, soul, higher self, spiritual teachers or mentors, relatives, etc.
Another very helpful method is through discovering where you have been blocked subconsciously from living out your gifts and calling. The method I use with people is called Splankna Therapy because it reveals what is hidden within that may be blocking you from moving forward into your God-given purpose and gifts. Practicing some form of meditation, spending time alone with God, sitting quietly, going within, and asking for answers can all be beneficial.
Think of all the things you enjoy doing and that give your life the most meaning and satisfaction. Ask, “If I knew my life purpose(s) what would it/they be? Think about what your gifts are. “Your gifts are those things you would do even if you didn’t get paid for them.” Meditate on this every day, but don’t be surprised if your answers come while you are out running, driving, watching a movie, dreaming, or during any other activity.
Another strategy is journaling. After meditating, write down what came to you. Write about your values, things that are most important to you, things you are most grateful for, what gives you the most joy, satisfaction, and fulfillment, things you want to do, love to do, feel called to do, etc.
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live thelife which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
—Henry David Thoreau
How Your Purpose Relates to Your Values
Finding your purpose is a journey to finding your true self. It originates from our soul, or core, or the deepest part of our being. It starts with what is important to us, our values, then becomes a vision, then desire, then passion, then goals, then actions. So let’s start with your values. Values can be defined in a variety of ways. The dictionary gives the all-inclusive definition, “something (as a principle or quality) intrinsically valuable or desirable.” Values involve personal choice, and when assessing your values it is important, to be honest with yourself. Values reflect human qualities and lifestyle qualities that are important to you.
Common Societal Values
Think about which of these values (and what others) are important to you:
Children, religion, ethics, good physical health, good mental health, family stability, close friends, autonomy, saving for the future, honesty, equality, justice, education, knowledge, maturity, loyalty, obedience, safety, peace, beauty, originality, tradition, love, wealth, power, success, fame, attractiveness, fun, financial security, respect for authority, freedom of choice, faith, community service…
Add your own here…..
There is no greater contribution you can make to the world than living your purpose.
Can I Have More Than One Life Purpose?
You may have one main life purpose and many sub-purposes. There are many areas of your life for which you may have a purpose. The main seven areas are listed below. As a beginning exercise, get seven pieces of paper and write one of the following categories at the top of each page. Then relax and brainstorm.
Write down everything you can think of that is important to you in each category. Draw pictures if you like. Ask yourself three main questions as you go through this list: 1) What do I want to give to the world? 2) What do I want to receive from the world? 3) What would make me the happiest?
- Physical/Emotional Health
After you have written your thoughts on each page, check and see if these are in alignment with your values. Once you know your life purpose(s) you will be on your path to achieving your dreams. Your life will have a more clear focus.
Every man has a religion; has something in heaven or earth which he will give up everything else for – something which absorbs him – which may be regarded by others as being useless – yet it is his dream, it is his lodestar, it is his master. That, whatever it is, seized upon me, made me its servant, slave – induced me to set aside the other ambitions – a trail of glory in the heavens, which I followed, followed with a full heart…When once I am convinced, I never let go….